A clearer picture of the Bollywood-bookie nexus seems to have emerged with actor Vindoo Dara Singh's disclosure before the Mumbai police, and the names of a few bigwigs in the industry have cropped up during investigations, whom the police reportedly plan to summon in the next few days.
Vindoo allegedly told the Mumbai police crime branch, investigating the T20 betting scandal, that at least five famous Bollywood personalities, including an actor, a former actor and a producer, regularly placed bets with him on T20 league matches over the years. However, officials cautioned that the extent of their involvement in the betting case is still being probed, and a few of them would be questioned to get more details on this.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime) confirmed that Vindoo had revealed a lot of information during interrogation, and that the police are verifying his claims.
The crime branch has also discovered that Vindoo, known as 'Jack' in the betting circuit, used his contacts in Bollywood and cricket to get inside information about matches, which helped him overturn his betting fortunes. Vindu, who had lost money in the first give seasons, had won about R17 lakh during this year's league. According to his arrangement with a cartel of bookies run by Ramesh Vyas (arrested during the ongoing probe), he was to be paid at the end of the season, sources said.
On Tuesday night, the crime branch team raided Vindoo's residence and recovered three mobiles phones belonging to bookies Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur, through whom Singh used to place his bets.
Officials said Vindoo booked hotel rooms for the two in the city. On May 17, when the police were searching for the two bookies, Vindoo drove them in his car to the Mumbai international airport and helped them flee to Dubai.